By Sarah Townsend
"We continue to deliver stable revenue and growth thanks to our resilient business model, says chairman
The investment body of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) free zone has reported a 4 percent year-on-year rise in gross operational profit to $149 million.
DIFC Investments (DIFCI) said the rise was attributed to a 13 percent increase in the number of active registered companies at the free zone, which totalled 1, 648 as of the year ending December 31 2016.
In its latest annual results, DIFCI also reported cash and cash equivalents increased 11 percent to $345 million compared to 2015 and total assets increased to $3,084 million, a 2 percent increase on 2015.
Fair market value of investment properties rose to $2,554 million compared to $2,499 million in 2015, while rental income increased 5 percent to $147 million.
The organisation said occupancy rate at the end of 2016 was 98 percent and that key construction projects such as the Gate Avenue and The Exchange would further enhance the DIFC property portfolio.
DIFC Investments said there was already especially high demand for the latter, a 147,000 square foot, AED180 million ($49 million) new development.
Meanwhile, there was a 9 percent increase in the number of professionals working at the free zone, to 21,611, the organisation said, and substantial success in DIFCI’s repurchasing of 290,000 units of sukuk certificates, issued in 2014 and which saw a $2.10 million gain on repurchase.
DIFCI chairman Essa Kazim said: “I am pleased to report that our 2016 performance was robust. We continue to deliver stable revenue and growth thanks to our resilient business model and steady rental cash flows in a challenging macro-economic climate.
“We continue to focus on building a platform for long-term growth. Strategic investments, such as Gate Avenue at DIFC and The Exchange, will enhance our urban lifestyle and community offering, as well as reinforce our strong position in the region and support Dubai’s vision of being a leading global financial centre.”For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.